This Is the Worst COVID-19 Hotspot in Each State

The spread and intensity of COVID-19 in the U.S. population is measured in several ways. Among them are raw counts of cases and deaths. Another is cases and deaths per 100,000. Then are so-called hotspots, which measure the daily increase in confirmed cases using the most recent seven-day average per 100,000 people, compared to the previous seven days. Usually, these figures are reported at the county level.

Across the 50 states, the county in each that is the worst hotspot varies substantially by population, as well as the rate of growth. The largest is Honolulu County, Hawaii, which has a population of 987,638. It is followed by Fairfield County, Connecticut, with a population of 944,348. Third in population, Prince George’s County, Virginia, has a population of 906,202.

At the far end of the population scale, Issaquena County, Mississippi, has a population of 1,328. Statisticians might argue that its numbers are too small to be included. There are several other very small counties by population. Eddy County, North Dakota, has only 2,313 residents. Menominee County, Wisconsin, has only 4,579.

Suffice it to say that hotspot counties have no direct relationship to population.

The core measurement of new cases per day based on the seven-day average also varies widely when chosen by the worst county in each state.

The worst county in the nation by far is Crowley County, Colorado, with a figure of 648.86. It is followed by Lee County, Kentucky, at 422.31.

At the far end of the spectrum of worst hotspot counties by state, Honolulu County’s figure is 7.93. But Hawaii has only five counties, so there is not much competition for the position. The next lowest is Franklin County, Washington, at 19.90.

Measurements and measurement methods have started to blur into one another as the spread of COVID-19 quickens at an astonishing pace, which will only accelerate into December. The United States has 13,617,362 confirmed cases, and the figure has started to rise by almost 200,000 a day. Deaths stand at 271,296, up daily by as much as 2,000 in recent days. Experts worry that the number could double in the coming weeks. It is very hard to make an argument against that.

These are the COVID-19 hotspot counties by state:

StateCountyPopulationCases per 100kNew Cases per Day
AlabamaFranklin County31,5428,059.1050.53
AlaskaBethel Census Area18,0408,442.35230.44
ArizonaYuma County207,8298,598.9091.88
ArkansasLincoln County13,69517,991.9784.34
CaliforniaImperial County180,2168,888.7891.13
ColoradoCrowley County5,63017,957.37648.86
ConnecticutFairfield County944,3483,925.5753.35
DelawareSussex County219,5404,726.7044.43
FloridaLafayette County8,74415,118.9428.71
GeorgiaChattahoochee County10,76718,333.8051.93
HawaiiHonolulu County987,6381,545.517.93
IdahoMadison County38,70510,722.13146.95
IllinoisClinton County37,6288,791.33148.17
IndianaElkhart County203,6048,813.68133.83
IowaBuena Vista County20,26015,044.42117.15
KansasNorton County5,48618,939.12108.25
KentuckyLee County6,75113,672.05422.31
LouisianaEast Feliciana Parish19,49910,877.4850.66
MaineAndroscoggin County107,4441,391.4221.52
MarylandPrince George’s County906,2024,531.7738.68
MassachusettsSuffolk County791,7664,652.3835.06
MichiganDelta County36,1906,733.9069.59
MinnesotaNobles County21,83914,135.2692.61
MississippiIssaquena County1,3288,810.2458.40
MissouriSullivan County6,3178,928.2981.74
MontanaBig Horn County13,37613,292.4657.37
NebraskaDakota County20,31715,445.19103.76
NevadaWashoe County450,4865,430.36109.78
New HampshireHillsborough County411,0872,050.4233.74
New JerseyPassaic County504,0415,921.9473.96
New MexicoMcKinley County72,8499,667.94196.91
New YorkRockland County323,6866,642.8637.02
North CarolinaSampson County63,5615,780.2752.18
North DakotaEddy County2,31315,564.20157.94
OhioMarion County65,3447,627.33106.56
OklahomaTexas County21,12111,263.67111.80
OregonMalheur County30,4317,817.6952.98
PennsylvaniaCentre County161,4433,937.6156.73
Rhode IslandProvidence County634,5335,670.3195.68
South CarolinaNewberry County38,0685,534.8329.16
South DakotaBon Homme County6,96919,529.34147.30
TennesseeTrousdale County9,57319,931.0628.99
TexasHale County34,11311,878.17166.67
UtahUtah County590,4408,215.74111.39
VermontWashington County58,4771,099.5834.31
VirginiaGalax city6,6388,556.7972.25
WashingtonFranklin County90,6606,411.8719.90
West VirginiaMineral County27,2784,600.78176.56
WisconsinMenominee County4,57912,142.3982.90
WyomingAlbany County38,1027,763.3783.56

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